Welding is one of the most hazardous jobs in the world. You have to think about fire accidents, gas explosion, and toxic fumes. You may be an independent welder or you may be working for a large industrial establishment – the hazard is almost the same.
So, all the welding hazards and safety precautions are universally applicable to all the welders.
It’s a high paying job and more & more people are joining this profession. A lot of people do small welding tasks in the garage or garden nowadays with their portable welding machines. The welding technologies are advancing along with the safety standards. So, you need to be updated to keep up with all those changes.
12 Welding Safety Tips
Even though are an experienced welder, these tips may be useful to you. If you are an owner of an industrial/business setup where it involves hiring welders, you should follow these safety tips as well. That’s how you can ensure the safety of your employees.
It’s not just ensuring the safety of yours, it also about ensuring safety for others. That’s how you become a responsible person. Follow these 10 tips:
Follow The Manual/Codes
Every welding equipment comes with a manual and several warning labels. Ignoring them is simply foolish. The reality is – we do ignore them. No one but the manufacturer can explain more clearly how to use the equipment right away. We should pay attention to the warning labels as well.
Even if you are a small business owner but employ a few of the welders, you should know the local and state laws regarding the safety instructions.
Beware of Electric Shock
I am not talking about benign household electric shock. Welding electric shock is more powerful and life-threatening than a household electric shock. If you have a heart condition or other physical issues, the damages can be catastrophic.
So, what to do to avoid electric shock? First, never touch the electrode with your bare hands. Always use welding gloves too.
There will be no harmful effects of arc welding on your body if you dress properly. In case you don’t know, your exposed skin to harmful welding infrared and UV rays will leave a damaging effect on your body. Besides, don’t forget about the welding sparks.
Such sparks may catch in your open pocket and pant cuffs. Since you will be under the hood while welding, there is a huge chance you won’t be noticing it. The consequences can be catastrophic.
Even when you think it will be a few seconds welding tasks, you have to wear all the welding gears like helmet, gloves, jackets, and so on. You can’t even think about wearing shorts or shirts with short-sleeves while welding.
For your welding jacket, always think about flame-resistant clothing. You can find a lot of lightweight welding jackets nowadays. Days of the heavy welding jackets are long gone. Don’t think about touching the welded materials even when you are wearing welding gloves. Rather, use pliers and wrenches.
Welding smokes and fumes are a serious health hazard. The situation gets worst when you have to weld in a confined workspace. There won’t be any breathable air left to breathe unless there is a good ventilation system installed. If you are not able to breathe freely, talk to your welding engineer about the issue ASAP.
Make sure your pant legs go over the shoes. And the shoes should be made of leather. Wearing tennis or cloth shoes won’t provide the best foot protection.
Probably the most important welding safety gear. There will be serious eye injuries (arc eyes) if you look at the welding light directly without any welding hood. In case you don’t know, arc eyes are very painful conditions.
You will find different kinds of welding helmets. But I would strongly recommend having an auto-darkening welding helmet from any trusted brand. You can use some helmets to be used in cutting and grinding as well.
Protect Your Eyes Properly
Yep, any high-quality auto-darkening welding helmet will do a good job protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and bright lights, but you can take extra measures as well. When you take off the helmet, there is a chance for the slags to enter into your eyes.
For example, wearing safety glasses along with the helmet is a good idea. These goggles/safety glasses are pretty good preventing the welding slags entering into your eyes.
Keep Your Working Space Clean
Avoid cluttering your workspace by all means. Keep every welding equipment where it is supposed to be. Do not keep unnecessary stuff inside the welding room. Organized welding workspace not only helps to increase your productivity, but it also keeps you safe from any unwanted situations.
Take Measures For Explosion
Welding sparks are common, right? Well, such sparks can lead to igniting the flammable gas. During the welding, gas cylinders used in welding become highly volatile. Make sure to keep them far away so that no sparks or slags can cause devastating explosions.
All welding equipment including the materials should be regularly inspected. Inspect whether the ventilation is doing its job properly. The gas cylinder should be checked to make sure it is still okay to use it.
When you have multiple employees, safety awareness programs now and then can be useful. However, you should not just arrange such programs. You need to make sure all the employees follow all the safety protocols. How?
To make sure all the employees follow the safety protocols every day, you should introduce a reward system. For example, you can reward the employee who always follows the safety protocols and take punitive measures if someone doesn’t report any safety violations.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider and do to ensure welding safety. As the consequence of any welding hazards is devastating, you can’t ignore any single tips described above. Follow those tips and stay safe. Keep your co-workers safe as well.